Last week, I published Create a Facebook Page for Ministry, An E-Guide for Beginners. Based on questions and comments I have received from a few people, I think it might be a good to review the difference between a Facebook user profile and a Facebook Page. I wrote about this in November 2011. Here is what I wrote then with some updates based on the new Facebook timeline.
Facebook User Profile
To be “on” Facebook, requires that you sign up and create your user profile providing your social résumé. You supply as much or as little information as you like: favorite songs, quotes, TV shows, etc. This information appears in the About section of your profile. You can also post messages, pictures, videos, etc. to your “Wall”. These posts appear in the “News Feed” of your friends and their posts appear in yours. People can like, comment and/or re-share what appears in their news feeds. Something that is shared many times by many people is said to “go viral.” You can also send messages directly to your friends through Facebook. You accept people to be your Friends and you request to be Friends with others. Through various settings, you can determine who will see what on your profile.
But what do you do if you have a ministry, a business, an event, a charitable cause, a brand, or an organization that you want to promote through Facebook? Then you create a Facebook “Page.” You must have a Facebook profile to create a Page. A Facebook Page is meant for the public. The information provided is about the ministry, business, cause or event and people who “like” this Page receive its posts in their news feeds. Here are some examples of Pages:
Pages vs. Profiles
Some individuals have “Pages” to promote themselves or their “brand,” and use their individual profile for friends and family. For example:
Fr. James Martin, SJ, has a Facebook Page for his public ministry. People follow him by “liking” his Page. Fr. Martin also has a user profile that he shares with friends and whomever else he chooses to accept.
A Facebook Page may have multiple administrators. Each administrator logs in through their own Facebook user profile and has the option to post on the Page as themselves or the brand. For example we have three sisters who administer our community’s Page at Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon. They each log in through their own account and post as Sisters of Notre Dame, Chardon. A Facebook account may have more than one Facebook Page. Administrators can be added and removed by any other administrator.
Facebook Pages also have the advantage of “Insights.” Facebook provides demographic data about Page followers: age, gender, and geographic locations in very easy to read graphs. It also reports how many followers interact with posts (like, comment, share) and tells you which posts are getting the most activity, and how many people saw content from your Page in a given week. This is valuable data for measuring the impact and influence of your Page posts and helpful in measuring the results of advertising your Page should you decide to do that. Page administrators have access to Insights.
I hope this brings more clarity to the subject for those who are not certain about these two ways to be on Facebook. (You can also start or belong to a Facebook group, but we will address that some other time.)
If you have a Facebook Page for your ministry, please share the URL with us in the comments below. Additional comments are welcome.
If you are interested in my e-guide, Create a Facebook Page for Ministry, click here. Thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy already!